Trimming systemd Halved The Boot Time On A PocketBeagle ARM Linux Board
Written by Michael Larabel in systemd on 29 October 2019 at 07:42 AM EDT. 76 Comments
Happening this week over in Lyon, France is the Embedded Linux Conference Europe and Open-Source Summit Europe events. Developer Chris Simmonds spoke today about systemd and boot time optimizations around it.

Besides going over the basics of systemd that all Phoronix readers should be well familiar with, much of his talk was on reducing the boot time with systemd. For reference he talked about his optimizations using a PocketBeagle ARM board running Debian Stretch.

Debian on this low-power ARM board took 66 seconds to boot with some 18 seconds for the kernel and over 47 seconds for the user-space bits. With some basic tuning, he was able to chop that in half to around 30 seconds.

Among the boot optimizations done were trimming unnecessary services, slimming down systemd in other areas, removing the ttyGS0 service, and eliminating other unnecessary features to achieve a 29 second boot time. Those wanting to learn more can do so via the PDF slide deck from Chris.

While an improvement, a half minute boot time still isn't as impressive as Intel achieving as little as a 300ms boot time with Clear Linux for their stringent use-cases like Clear Linux running in cars where there are strict boot time requirements.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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